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tv   Hardball Weekend  MSNBC  June 27, 2010 7:00am-7:30am EDT

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what are we fighting for? let's play hardball. ghost, i'm chris -- good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. left out, liberal democrats may have been hoping that the change in generals in afghanistan would mean a change in policy. but after president obama reaffirmed his commitment to the strategy, liberals may be abandoning him on the war. tonight i'm going to speak with two democrats are asking speaker policy to hold off on war engine until they get more permission. and wall street reform check. energy bill on the way. president obama's poised to win two of the three legs of his legislative agenda. is the third achievable? and sorry state of affairs. last week it was joe barton.
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this week, general mcchrystal. sudden public figures everywhere seem to be saying i'm sorry. why sorry doesn't seem to be the hardest word anymore. and quick -- can you name the last president to sport a mustache? he was elected in 190 and succeeded teddy roosevelt. any guesses? william howard taft. it's been some 100 years since he and his mustache ruled the white house. suddenly mustaches are making a politicalcomeback. let me finish with afghanistan. who are we fighting for and against there and why. let's start with liberal opposition to the president's afghanistan war strategy. congressman jim mcgovern in massachusetts sent a letter to house speaker pelosi recommending that she hold off on war funding. and democratic congress jerry adler of new york has also signed on to that. thank you for joining us. i guess the question is, what are we fighting for in afghanistan? can you discern the president's strategy? let's hear your best version, congressman mcgovern, of when
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you believe is the president's war policy. and the same thing i'm going to ask of congressman nadler. >> of all the problems that this president inherited from george bush, the war in afghanistan is the one that gets more complicated with each passing day. if the last month i've lost two constituents. two grave young men from massachusetts, lost -- two brave young men from massachusetts lost their lives fighting in afghanistan. we've got to get this rice. the mcchrystal interview and comments by leading military experts and have raised a lot of questions. even the president is fudging on the date that we will begin withdrawal. we need to get there right. >> let me go back to congressman nadler, your thoughts. give me your perspective -- who are we fighting? what's your sense of the actual war strategy right now? i know we've got rules of engagement which basically say don't shoot anybody unless they're shooting at us because that means they're a civilian. >> well, i don't think there are any good answers to any of those
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questions, which is why i -- i think we ought to rapidly withdraw from afghanistan because i don't understand the strategy or the goal. we originally went in to afghanistan because we said al qaeda has base camps there from which they're planning attacks on the united states. we ought to get rid of those base camps, eliminate them, we did. we said, all right, the taliban were helping al qaeda, we punished them. now the mission seems to have morphed into we have to remake the government of afghanistan. we have to put it on a solid footing. we have to get the country running, which no government in kabul has ever done. that is beyond our capability and, frankly, is none of our business. >> iygo the question is could -- i guess the question is could we do what the soviets couldn't do? could we create a governmentwide or countrywide government for that country? here's what the president said yesterday about the timetable for withdrawal from afghanistan. let's listen because it's quite different from what joe biden is saying, the vice president. let's listen to the president.
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>> we did not say that starting july, 2011, suddenly there would be no troop from the united states or allied countries in afghanistan. we didn't say we'd be switching off the lights and closing the doors behind us. we said we'd begin a transition phase in which the afghan government is taking on more and more responsibility. >> it seemed to be what the vice president told jonathan alder. the vice president said "in july of 2011, you're going to see a whole lot of people moving out. bet on it." joe biden, the vice president, congressman mcgovern, seems to be talking to the democratic left, if you will, the base, while the president seems to be talking to the center or the right. are they talking with -- what we used to say in cowboy movies with a forked tongue here? >> what we need is a clearly defined mission which we don't have right now. in a war there's a beginning,
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middle, transition period, and an end. we don't know how that ends. there's mixed signals coming from the white house. the republicans just yesterday told the american people that we can't afford to extend unemployment benefit for those who are out of work now, millions of our fellow citizens. we don't have the money. yet when it comes to supporting president karzai, a corrupt and c con competent -- incompetent leader, we're a bottomless pit. we need clarity, but the clarity need to include an exit strategy which we don't have right now. >> let me ask you, congressman nadler, what's the difference between the bush strategy in afghanistan and the obama strategy because we know this -- we have the same secretary of defense. and now we have the same field commander, patraeus. we got gates, patraeus, the only thing missing is w. him. what's the difference in the two policies? can you discern it? >> i cannot discern a difference other than a stated intention to begin withdrawing either small numbers or large numbers of troops by the date certain in july of -- august of 2011.
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frankly, both the obama administration and the bush administration seem intent on using american military force to prop up a corrupt government and to -- and to bring a settlement to a 30-year civil war in that country. i don't believe, as i said before, it's our business to to that. i don't believe it's our capability to do that. we ought to use our troops and funding to protect the united states and our allies. al qaeda is an enemy, and wherever al qaeda is, it makes sense to disrupt their operations. we're told there are fewer than 100 al qaeda in the entire country. >> let's go to what general patraeus has said. he seems to be the authority figure, gentlemen, on this whole issue. here he is on june 16, a few days ago, testifying on the hill. here's what he had to say. let's look at this now about the timetable. let's listen. >> it is important that july, 2011, be seen for what it is -- the date when a process begins based on conditions.
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not the date when the u.s. heads for the exits. >> who sets those conditions? general patraeus as a hawk, congressman mcgovern and congressman nadler, or the government who's somewhat of a centrist on this issue? who decide when decisions are made? >> the president of the united states is our commander in chief. he makes these decisions in consultation with general patraeus. but there is no exit strategy. and i think general patraeus' comments just -- just amplify that fact. we don't know how this is going to end. we've been here for ten years. and as congressman nadler said, we were originally going after al qaeda. you know, al qaeda is now moving to other places. what we need to do is find a way to elk triindicate ourselves -- extricate ourselves from afghanistan. get the government to stand up and do its job, and going after the enemy, those who are responsible for the killing of so many people on september 11. we need to redirect our effort to getting to them. >> congressman nadler, last word. >> yeah. the taliban are not nice people. and i would hate to be an
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afghani if they were ruling. there are a lot of not nice people ruling a lot of countries, and it's not our job or capability to set every country right. we have to invest our resources where it's important to defend us and our allies, and right now, i don't afghanistan as being one of those places. >> okay. thank you very much, congressman jim mcgovern and congressman gerald -- jerrold nadler from new york, congressman mcgovern from massachusetts. and "meet the press" coming up this sunday will have a whole hour on afghanistan. among the guests, john mccain. coming up, president obama on the verge of another big win. wall street reform set to pass next week. and after health care reform, it's the second of three big campaign promises he's met so far, delivered on if you will. he's got the energy bill. it's called the spill bill. might be a small bill. we'll see if he can get the triple crown. [ male announcer ] where are people with moderate to severe
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welcome back to "hardball." president obama's got hot-handed domestic issues these days. first health care reform passed against a lot of predictions. now wall street reform alexander like it's going to get -- looks like it's going to get through. there might be an energy bill before the electric because with this bill something's got to give. will voters reward or punish democrats in november for all of this? joining me is congressman jim mow moran of virginia. it used to be the members of congress would get a card when they went home on break and said here's what was accomplished this year. how do you do that in the face of the spill, in the face of the lousy economy? >> i don't know. you know, we really aren't getting talking points from the white house, but there's a lot
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to talk about. they -- this may be the most successful last six months in american presidential history. i can't think of a time that we have accomplished as much as we have. and in fact, you know, in the last six months, more jobs were created than bush was able to generate in eight years, chris. people don't understand that. the economy had recovered -- >> you got about 41,000 civilian jobs in may. is that a good number? >> well, you know, we had a lot of census bureau employees, granted. but the fact is the economy has come back from the brink. and a lot of that is because of presidential leadership. it is the economic stimulus that pumped money to the economy. it worked. health care reform, that's transformational. and it was an enormous legislative victory when you figure that the republican party has decided they're going to vote against everything. anything that he offers, they're going to vote no. yet he got that through.
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in the house we got the energy bill through. i think we're probably going to get an energy bill. now we've gotten wall street reform. those are enormous legislative victories. now, you know, i know that people think it's not enough somehow because president obama doesn't get on the stump and rah-rah. but he's kind of an understated guy. i think there's a lot of reasons for that. but the fact is he's shown a lot of results, and then when you look at foreign policy, i know we're in -- an intractable situation in afghanistan, but the reality is the reputation of the united states, around the world, has improved immeasurably. he's going to the g-20 summit. they're all going to listen to him. they take him seriously, which was not the case in the last eight years with push. we're getting out of iraq, and we're going to figure out what to to with afghanistan, too -- what to do with afghanistan, too, even though it's one of the most difficult foreign policy con undra that any
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administration has faced. >> and jim van de high, he's giving a speech. the legislative trick victory coming up next week on wall street which everybody's going to support, looks like an energy buzz, good shot between now and election day because of the concern about we've got to do some being current energy need and long-term nodes. yet we've got the atmospherics of a weak economy and the oil spill. how do you put it together? is it better this he got this done than not? all that he's gotten done? >> i think politically getting this bill done obviously helps the president, probably helps democrats. i don't think anyone can dispute what the congressman said as far as how much obama had done during his presidency. i think what the pushbecome will be from republicans -- pushback will be from republicans is yes, he's done too much, grown government way too big. if you look at the size of the deficit, the deficits, if you look at the expanding size of washington, the question for independents is going to be did they do too much too fast for too little. i don't think we're going to
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know until people hit the campaign trail, start to argue about health care, start to argue about the economy, and we start to see some of the result of that which won't come in until after august. >> isn't the smart thing the republicans did is cashier push, denied he even exists. the latest polling shows no support for bush because new republican will defend him. by not defending bush anymore, republicans are able to walk around with a clean slate and say we're against government waste. we're against government spending. >> absolutely. >> by not defending him. that's a brilliant move. >> i don't know how brilliant it is -- >> it's -- it works. >> effective. it's as though bush never existed. though eight years are gone. when you bring them up they say, oh, that's the past. you're belaboring the past, we're talking about the future. gosh sakes, guys, that's why we're stuck with what we're stuck with. and our pitch now is, you know, things are not as bad as they could have been. even to say things are not yearly as bad as they could have been. that's not -- >> why do you let the tea party
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people attack you for the bailout when the bailout was bush? i'm amazed by that. he did the bailout of wall street, the bailout of the automotive industry. you guys get hit with it. >> and his bailout went to the banks. ours went to the states and localities. the teachers and firefighters -- >> you started by saying, okay, we have a president who's low key, he won't brag. isn't that a problem? isn't it a problem? if you don't blow your own horn, who? will he won't blow it. >> the reality is as an african-american who got as far as he's gotten, he's not a rabble rouser. >> no, but can't he brag a little, tell you what he's doing? >> he's not a grandstander. that's his personality. he's reflective. i think we need to do more grandstanding. because it's our necks on the line now in november. but, you know, the reality is we have a very good president. we've accomplished a lot. we're going to have to let the chips fall where they may. you know, we may lose, you know, ten, 20 seats, i don't think we're going to lose anywhere near 30. we'll have the majority. we'll continue to accomplish a
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lot in the next year -- 2 1/2 years. and i think he's going to get re-elected. the country's better off for it. but it's a tough time. and you've got a political party that will vote no on anything. >> you know it's interesting that -- i don't know how you start this, jim. it's not you or my job to do it. along the line it seems somebody's got to say the united states government's based on the idea you have a minority or majority. it's not based on the idea of you've got one party trying to do something. the other party trying to kill them. it's based on one party being the senior partner and the other party trying to make amendments and change things its way. it's the minority party's job is not to destroy the united states government every time it gets up if the morning. yet the republicans have been able to get up every day saying our goal is to destroy the government. that's our job. somehow the cheering second at home says good work -- cheering section at home says good work. >> it's not about destroying the government but it's to destroy any policy from obama. there's no doubt, chris, that is
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the -- >> the new way of american politics, to try to destroy anything that comes out of the white house? >> it certainly works. >> i like the guy -- >> it's worse now mostly because most of the moderates that used to live inside the republican party that lived up in the northeast were purged out of the party over the last three or four elections. so there's very few moderates per se left. there might be three or four left in the senate. and those are the ones that democrats are working over to make sure that they have enough votes to get this financial bill through. so the only way you're going to have any republicans who want to work with democrats or if republicans pick up seats in the swing districtand bring in some voices of moderation that want to work with democrats. right now, there's no incentive in the mind of republicans to do anything to help obama or to help democrats because they feel that they have the momentum, they feel that they can easily win 30 seats, and likely pick up many more if they play their cards right. there's no way that they'll say, wait a second, let's work with obama. >> what mindset -- what good
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does it do the country for republicans to pick up 30 seats in the house? >> i don't know if it does anything good for the country. but it might do -- what it could change is get more people -- you might have more people that would be willing to work with obama. and you might have obama more willing to work with republicans. right now we have an entire system, we have a media system, we have a culture, we have technology that really -- i think rewards the incendiary, rewards conflict. therefore the republicans right now don't see if i incentive to work with them. that's not going to change between now and election day. might not change election day. heck, it could get worse if you look at the senators who might get elected, especially on the republican side. it could be -- >> being a suicide bomber is the new political role model. kill everything, destroy everything, blow it up. nothing gets done. you're dead but who cares? thank you, congressman jury moran, jay vandehie. it's friday, give us a break. the mustache is back, it's friday. we're having fun tonight in the
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side show at least. which politicians are starting to sport the stace? stick around for the side show. you think this is below you, jim? [ male announcer ] everyone deserves a car they can count on. a car that keeps going, when others might quit. a car that stands strong... when you need it most. and expects to handle the unexpected. at chevrolet, we created a team of red x engineers who are obsessed with quality. red x torture tests every car down to the smallest detail. because everyone deserves excellence. ♪ (laughing through computer) good night, buddy. good morning, dad. (announcer) oreo. milk's favorite cookie. i was just in town for a few days
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back to "hardball." a man with one name. you know the tv and cowboy heroes with one name? sugarfoot, palladin, don't forget poncho. add roary to the list. his name is just rory, and it's nevada, dude. son of sthart majority leader harry reid. you can forget the last name, partner. this is the fellow with no last name. watch.
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>> when we chose our next governor -- >> we should remember to ask -- >> do they have the highest ethical standards? >> i do thought nevada first? >> do they follow instincts -- >> i do that understand -- >> that a stronger economy depends on stronger skills? >> and did they have a plan to totally transform our schools? >> my plans as governor are all about them. and when it comes to their education, i'll never, ever compromise. >> that's rory zero, zip, nada mentions of reed being his last name. by the way, what of the lone ranger's last name? his whole name was john reed. now, stache, lip tickler, soup strainer, whatever you call it, it's hard to miss. mustaches have been out of fashion for a long time, especially in politics. "politico" reports that the mustache could be making a comeback. here's are some of the political types.
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north dakota governor hoven. had's gotten him into facebook. his own page with 750 followers. the only u.s. senator to wear it, roland burris. the last senator, jon corzine of new jersey, with the full beard. two familiar faces from the obama team. eric holder, a.g., and david axelrod. by the way, alex trebek had one, too, and tom selleck. to mark the start of the north korean, north korea's demanding a reparation from the united states for what it calls decades of hostility. how much are they asking for? $65 trillion. yes, that's trillion. for perspective, by the way, the america -- our own gdp, gross domestic product, is $14 trillion. they want more than four times that. north korea calculates the united states owes it $65 trillion in compensation. tonight's absolute insane, crazy, big number. that's "hardball." thanks for being with us. up next, "your business." more t. where do we stand?
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less travel? more video conferences? limit the cell phone minutes. that's not good enough. we're not leaving this room unless we can cut something else. can they really keep us here? what about all this stuff? what stuff? all this stuff. what does it cost to create all this? time, effort, people. how much? it could be millions. ♪ millions. [ male announcer ] save money. trust your business processes to xerox. xerox. ready for real business. we got it on rollback. that's what i'm talking about. blue bunny premium ice cream. i know you want it. [ humming ] this is my ice cream dance. ooo, peanut butter.
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